|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
Young children need to develop control and co-ordination of their fingers and gradually build strength in their hands. This control is of vital importance later when they will use their hand muscles to draw, write, cut and manipulate other tools.
- Choice of props from option below
- Background music
One to two weeks
How it works
This activity is aimed at getting babies to manipulate their pen/crayon to make marks.
What to do in the class
Give babies objects they can make arks with:
- chunky washable pens and large paper (such as wall lining paper which is cheap), or aqua doodle mats (though too expensive to buy if you haven’t got one already lying at home!). Could also try:
- a layer of sand in a shallow but wide box with a wooden spoon
- flattened layer of play dough in bottom of a ice-cream tub and a plastic play dough tool
- large magic writers /etcher sketch type thing (one between a couple?)
Adaptations for younger babies
For very small babies focus on developing grasping instead. Use a scoobie, shoelace or think string, to tread some large beads or cotton reels, or large buttons onto. With the baby either lying down or sat on the parents lap, encourage the baby to feel and manipulate the objects on the string.
What to do in a nursery setting
Have one adult per five children supervising each activity. You could use several options, i.e. play dough, magic writers and crayons on paper, and encourage the children to have a go at each activity.